An Encounter At Dusk

I was out walking this evening — spring has been just beautiful this year. Here’s an image of some cool sunset clouds I saw from about 13th and Broadway, with McDonald’s arches as a sort of urban overlay:

I was about a block away from my apartment when I saw someone bent over and poking through my orange plastic container of recyclables. Tomorrow’s trash day. Oh, what the hell, I thought — who would be looking through my cans, newspapers, and such?

It turned out to be my downstairs neighbor Beulah. She’s 87 years old and I’m quite fond of her. I don’t think she gets enough attention from her family so I try to be nice to her.

I approached her and we chatted for a while. She said, “What’s that tree coming up by the back steps?”

“Oh, that’s a young catalpa. It needs to be killed; it’s just too close to the steps. You know, over on your side of the house there are some mulberry trees coming up amidst the shrubbery.”

“So that’s what those are! Larry, a few years ago I used to keep the yard here in pretty good shape — the landlord tends to neglect it, except for basic mowing. I just don’t have the energy any more, and my pruning shears are dull.”

“I have a pair of sharp shears, Beulah, and I’ll get these little trees cut back, okay?”

“Why, that’d be nice! Thank you!”



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